I've made it through 25 days so far! I thought at first, "can I really do this?" But the secret is to set yourself a goal that is manageable. My life is so busy right now with work full time and trying to spend every moment I can with my 18-month old son. But I have been thinking of getting back into painting for months and months now. And to do a challenge like this you simply must be consistent.
But I'm thrilled with myself! I love it! And of course you are hoping that you will and that it's not an overwhelming challenge but this is perfect timing for me. Just to be able to have "something" that is getting me to paint everyday is a breath of fresh air. I feel better. All throughout each day, it's my own meditation. And I know I'm putting out there into the Universe that I intend to do this and make this a priority in my life just like caring for my son. Work I have to do unfortunately! But painting and my son are top priorities. And who knows what will come my way with art, but at least I'm doing the work now.
So far though, it's been interesting to set myself some limitations. Each painting is completed within 20 minutes. This includes (most often) drying time. And drying time I'm not used to forcing with each layer -- I literally just dry with my hair dryer. So here's couple things I have noticed:
• 20 minutes is really perfect time because you are forced to make quick decisions and move on
• Frustrating to wait for things to dry - but also forces you to move on
• You are forced to just "start" and then forced to "end" it! whether you like it or not! :)
• Within the time slot, more often as you practice, your intuition completely takes over. You cannot really think a lot because you are moving fast! But you are more likely to try new things and be surprised by them.
• Teaches you to definitely not fear the "blank" paper or canvas or whatever. You just have to GO!
• Different decisions like starting with white paper, or designed paper, or pastel paper, you are "reacting" to what's in front of you from the start. It's great to change it up becuase you are starting from different decisions then always white paper which is generally what people think is expected. But it helps to challenge your brain a little bit, you are mentally looking for slightly different strategies to keep your interest and then the direct effect is that it will be new. So you will try new techniques or tactics in your paintings.
• Oftentimes, my "go-to" techniques involve lots of water dabbling and pooling of paint with water. But with these 20 minutes paintings I literally just cannot wait for things to pool and dry on their own. So I have to loose a lot of those pools of paint that I love. Instead I have used a lot of paper towels to "dabble" away the excess water/paint pools. That in itself is a newer technique for me to always be my "go-to." I also like to stamp the left over throughout the painting too which gives another effect. So it's good even though it's not preferable to me, I'm still doing something different then I'm used to.
• Using different type of paint is always fun. Mainly use Acrylic but have fallen in love with Annie Sloan's paint as well. IT is chalky, pastel paint that is super easy to work with. You can make it opaque but also transparent with just a little bit of water. And it's very easy to dry.
• 20 minute paintings every day really does teach you to detach from you artwork. It sounds strange, but you have to detach in order to just get it out and move on. Already looking at these 25 pieces, I literally forget "oh yeah I did that one!" And looking back I may like one or not like one at all. But it doesn't matter. It's just a record of my decisions that one day.
• Again, many are not good. But that's awesome! It's identical to practicing an instrument, you practice and practice and goof up and mess up your notes or your fingers on the piano and you just do it over. And sometimes things just flow out but most often it's more of a struggle perhaps. But you are practicing! Only difference is that you have a physical record of these practice sessions verses music where the audience doesn't hear your practiced mistakes when you perform at a recital.
• I realize I understand now why the Yale Professor started this project for his art students (which is where Elle Luna got the idea for herself and to start this campaign). It's awesome for newbies especially to just paint, paint, paint, paint. Get used to painting. Get used to the materials, the process, and to learn about yourself. But it's been perfect timing like I said before for myself, to get back into the habit of painting.
Ok what will 50, 75, and 100 bring? Can't wait!